NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - A family favorite for generations, as a child this recipe seemed to involve an entire afternoon of mixing, coloring, pushing through the cookie press, baking, and decorating. As it is with many other experiences from childhood, the reality as an adult is a bit different: these cookies are actually very simple and easy to make. With today’s unique product availability, it is also possible to use natural food dyes and decorating sugars to color the dough and avoid the artificial, less-than-healthy old ones. Don’t worry, you can still buy a cookie press, although the old faithful ones that were plug-ins are difficult to find as they all seem to be battery-operated now. If you still have your mother’s cookie press, hold onto it!

1 ½ cups butter

1 cup sugar

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1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond extract

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

Food coloring (optional)

Decorating sugars (optional)

Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract. Beat well.

Sift flour with baking powder and add to cream mixture slowly; mix until smooth. Do not chill.

Divide and color dough if desired; force through a cookie press for shapes.

Cook for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees on an ungreased cookie shape. Sprinkle with decorating sugars before cooling, if desired.